Last nights Nintendo direct was a huge 39 minute live broadcast from the Mirai Kenkyujo Building (Namco Bandai studios) in Japan dedicated solely to the upcoming Super Smash Bros titles for Wii U and 3DS.
The broadcast, as you would expect was presented in full by Masahiro Sakurai the series director. You can check out the highlights of last nights broadcast here:-
Although no firm date has yet been given, last nights broadcast did reveal that the intended release period for the 3DS version of this title would be "summer 2014" where the Wii U game still needs more work to ensure it reaches us in its optimal form, so the release period for this will be Winter 2014... I wonder, will it be deliberately timed to be just around Christmas? Shrewd, real shrewd Nintendo!
Nintendo press releases have also played on the fact that fans of the series will be getting the 3DS version of the game to use as 'practice' for the Wii U version. Given that the stages on both games are completely different, although admittedly the line up of playable characters is the same I'm not sure how this would work out for practice but I do think it will work out nicely for sales figures and heres why I think that:-
- The Nintendo 3DS version comes out first, no one wants to be left behind so most will grab the 3DS version first.
- Most would have got the 3DS version anyway because of its own unique set of arenas and exclusive features
- No one will want to have experienced the amazing gameplay (from what we've seen) of Super Smash Bros without seeing it on a large screen, in HD - so the Wii U one coming second is probably the best thing they could have done.
Greninja and Charizard battle it out
Although this is not the first time we've seen online play in the SSB series, a lot of fans of the series have been anxiously waiting to hear the finer details on it, and the wait is over. Both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions of the games will feature full online play. It has been emphasised that a good quality broadband connection and WIRED (as opposed to Wireless) will make for the best online experience in SSB.
Anonymous online matches are no more and all players will be linked to their Nintendo Network ID's, meaning trolls can be better regulated and action can easily be taken against those who ruin the experience of playing these great titles online, examples of things which can get someones account temporarily suspended include abusing other players, starting games and not actually playing, repeatedly killing themselves and "relentlessly targeting" an individual player or attempting to cheat.
When you play with friends you can completely customise the gameplay settings including stage, timelimit and options. When you are playing strangers online there are two modes you can select
- For Fun Mode - roughly translates to 'Practice match' - randomly picked stages excluding final destination. All items have a chance of appearing. The only recorded stat is the number of times that you are victorious!
- For Glory Mode - roughly translates to 'Ranked match' - played only on the Final destination stage, no items, 1 on 1 fights / duels possible. Both wins and losses go on your stats
There is also a ranking system in place for how well people do in solo modes, however it doesn't rank online performance as that would be "too broad"... but its important for people to know how they stack up against others, so a stat called "Global Smash Power" has been created .. the higher the number the more people you have outscored worldwide. A Global Smash Power score of 100 for example, means you are better ranked than 100 others. It's maybe a little backwards, but it'll do.
Despite not having an official numeric rank for multiplayer's, there will be a formula working in the background to skill match you with appropriate opponents to make for better sport!
Dark Samus, Mega Man, Wii Fit Trainer (Male) and an aircraft from the Pilot Wings series
Many returning fighters from previous titles in the Super Smash Bros series are back but with powered up versions of their own moves and new abilities. These returning fighters include:-
- Samus - still using the Zero Laser as a final smash, but this no longer destroys her power suit.
- Zelda - with the Phantom Slash attack
- Shiek - for the first time as a character in her own right Shiek uses a special down attack called Bouncing Fish and Burst Grenade as a special side attack
- Kirby - with his new powered up Kirby Hammer Flip move which charges up the longer you hold it
- King Dede - Who now fires Gordo's instead of Waddle Dee's, he also fires at a faster rate
- Lucario - with powered up aura attacks, also the more damage Lucario has taken, the harder he hits so when Lucario is weak, you are going to really want to finish him quick. Lucario also has the ability for a mega evolution, when he has mega evolved his attacks will always hit for max damage.
- Captain Olimar is back but this time only three Pikmins at a time can follow him into battle, this on the surface looks like a power down, however the Pikmins come in a fixed order this time meaning they are tactically easier to utilise at the right time. He has a recovery feature too where Olimar gets carried off by a Winged Pikmin.
- Pit has lost his gliding mechanic, but gained power on his moves as well as an easy flight recovery mode. He uses the Three Sacred Treasures as his final smash.
- Yoshi is back, and during his time out he has learned to stand up straight instead of the hunched position he has adopted in previous titles. Not much was given away about Yoshi's abilities this time around other than seeing him rolling round as a giant egg briefly.
Zero Suit samus is back, complete with Jetboots!
There has been little teasers of new playable characters being released week by week since last year. Heres the newest contenders to the Super Smash Bros lineup:-
- Rosalina (and Luma) - Rosalina can either keep her Luma to fight by her side, or use a special move called Luma shot - this move sees her Luma fired at a player, and promptly return to her for another use. The Luma can also work independently and move around a stage separately to Rosalina, with the player controlling its attacks!. The side special attacks is Star Bits. With the up special attack of launch star acting as a long distance recovery move. The down special move is called Gravitational pull and the all important final smash is Power Star.
- Little Mac - as you would expect from a boxer is mostly punch based attacks, he fires off very powerful hits in very quick succession but has an overall very basic moveset compared to many characters. His smash attacks are very strong, but he is very vulnerable in the air. He also lacks recovery power. Little Mac has an attribute just completely to himself in the form of his power bar, the power meter fills up when he gets hit or deals damage - once the bar is completely full you get a one shot special move - use your instant KO uppercut wisely! one of his special moves is the straight lunge which also looks simply but effective. Rising uppercut acts as his recovery move, Slip counter is the down special attack. Mac's final smash is the transformation into Giga Mac, a huge pumped up version of himself!
- Villager has arrived and comes packing the neutral special move: Pocket, the Lloid rocket as his side special, the Balloon Trip as his up special, and Timber as his special down attack. His final Smash is 'Dream Home'
- Mega Man looks a very promising fighter and has a very cool move set including Sliding as a strong down attack, Top Spin as a dash attack, Mega Upper as a strong up attack, Charge Shot as a side smash, Spark Shock as an up Smash, Flame Blast as a down smash, Back Air Attack as Slash Claw, Air Shooter as an up air attack, Down air attack is the hard knuckle from Mega Man 3 and Mega Man can also grab even much larger foes like Donkey Kong with his Super Arm move. Mega Man's neutral special attack is the Metal Blade with a side special of Crash Bomber which sticks a bomb to your opponent. The down special attack is leaf shield, the up Special attack is Rush Coil. Mega Man's final smash will be his famed costar move.
- Wii Fit Trainer uses deep breathing (special down attack that focuses energy so you hit harder after) and sun salutation which acts as the ntrual special move and fires a projectile attack. Deep breathing is a staple move that is used to enhance the attack power of normal moves. The Male Wii Fit trainer has also been introduced, the ominous way the camera scrolled up his character made me sad
- Charizard!!! I choose you!!! [Personal highlight for me!]
- Greninja enters the battle too, I thought Mewtwo was back when I saw the blast that got fired at Mario and Charizard!
Fighting Fire with Fire! Has Mario not realised that Charizard is a fire type?!
New Game Mode - Smash Run
On the Nintendo 3DS version only you can play the Smash Run mode which appears to be an almost platform game style mode where you and up to three other players fight your way through a dungeon/platform type game fighting each other and AI enemies to collect as many items and powerups as you can in five minutes and you'll need em! because when the times up you will be fighting each other with your powered up characters!
Some of the items you can collect include things that will improve a players special attacks, help them jump higher, make their defencive abilities stronger, or power up their base attacks.
Yap Yap Yap!! Nintendog reports in!
Assist trophies are back to help the fighters including Andross, Knuckle Joe, Saki Amamiya, Lyn, Nintendog (Yes, Yes!!), Waluigi, Dr. Wright, Skull Kid, Mother Brain, Midna, Ashley, Dark Samus, Chain Chomp, Elec Man and Color TV-Game 15.
Newcomer trophies revealed last night included Fi from Zelda's Skyward Sword, Tiki from Fire Emblem, Pseudo-Palutena from Kid Icarus: Uprising, King Kihunter from the Metroid series.
Missed the broadcast? You can watch it here.
That was one hell of a Nintendo Direct. A little upset that we have to wait so long for the Wii U one, as thats what I'm personally wanting, but I guess that'll just give me more time to play MK8! What was the highlight of the presentation for you guys? I'm really pleased with Charizard as a playable character and the online play setup.